Tuesday 28th March 2017, 10.40am (day 2,042)
Last full day in Japan. A couple of free hours this morning were spent in Shinjuku-gyoen park, along with several thousand other people, most of whom seemed to be cooing over the blossoming cherry trees (sakura), with dozens of Japanese engaging in what I could only perceive as a form of fundamental nature worship beneath each one. A total stranger asked me in the hotel elevator this evening whether I had seen the blossoms. They even have national news announcements, blossom forecasts if you like, stating where the best displays are to be found. I don’t dispute these plants’ beauty, but I can’t help thinking — you know, we have cherry blossoms in England too. They’re just there. But clearly I’m missing something.